Proceeds from registration fees paid by the 1,100 participants in this summer's third annual Cycle Across Maryland bicycle tour are helping distribute 1,000 free helmets to middle school students across the state.
Gov. William Donald Schaefer was scheduled to make the announcement this afternoon in Annapolis, while also declaring next week (Sept. 22-28) "Cycling Week in Maryland," with bicycle-related activities scheduled in almost all the state's counties.
Students from Quarterfield Elementary School were to be in Annapolis today as the first recipients of free helmets.
In its first two years, CAM Tour, sponsored since inception by the First National Bank, was a for-profit enterprise. But in 1991 it was restructured as a non-profit affair. The July 28-Aug. 3 tour took riders, each paying a $100 registration fee, around the Chesapeake Bay from Solomons Island through Annapolis, Essex/Rosedale, North East, Worton, Centreville and Easton.
And partly in recognition that Maryland is one of the few states where helmets are mandatory in some areas -- both Howard and Montgomery counties require them for riders under 16 -- the distribution of helmets was chosen as a public service.
Cycling Week in Maryland events, staged next week by the state departments of Education, Recreation and Parks and Transportation, will be the distribution point for the helmets.
CAM Tour officials also have announced that the Cecil County town of North East was voted by riders as recipient of the 1991 "Outstanding Hospitality" banner, and the Governor was to present the flag to town representatives today.
The tour stopped at North East Middle School, and local police blocked the town streets to assure a safe arrival, civic leaders shuttled riders around town and riders even pedaled into the school grounds through a welcoming arch with a refreshing hose/shower arrangement.